Somewhere in Ireland, a burglar has the heart of a saint.
Officials at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin said Sunday they’re distraught and perplexed over the theft of the church’s most precious relic: the preserved heart of St. Laurence O’Toole, patron saint of Dublin.
O’Toole’s heart had been displayed in the cathedral since the 13th century.
Read the rest of the story at Saint’s Ancient Heart Stolen From Dublin Cathedral | Fox News.
Barry Duggan of the Independent writesabout the passing of Desmond FitzGerald, the 29th Knight of Glin. The title Knight of Glin has been held by FitzGerald’s family since his ancestors arrived in Ireland from Wales in 1169.
One of the country’s oldest hereditary titles has ended with the death of the last Knight of Glin who had no son to inherit the title.
Desmond FitzGerald (74) — who was the 29th Knight of Glin — died on Wednesday night in Limerick, following a long battle with cancer.
Mr FitzGerald became the 29th Knight of Glin at the age of just 12 in 1949, after his father died. But with no son to inherit the 700-year-old title, the unbroken line of knights who lived at Glin Castle, Co Limerick, has now ended.
The Knight of Glin is an ancient Irish noble title which was handed down by chieftains and has been recognised by successive Irish governments.
Mr FitzGerald could date his ancestors back to 1169 when they arrived in Ireland from Wales as mercenaries and soon ascended through the social classes.
Now, only the Knight of Kerry — also known as the Green Knight — remains as the last hereditary knight in Ireland.
History was made when a community divided by old loyalties and hate came together in friendship and reconciliation. The momentous occasion was the opening of the Derry Peace Bridge, linking both banks of the mighty River Foyle in Northern Ireland.
The £14m structure, a suspension bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, has a distinctive form, representing a handshake across the water. It aims to join all communities living in Derry-Londonderry – as city officials label it – in peace and harmony.
Story by Jo Blakemore – Manchester Evening News
Historical clothing design of the day is from the Air Force – Roundels series, the the roundels used by the Air Corps of the Republic of Ireland in 1922 to 1923 and the current roundel used since 1954. Each day a new design is chosen and an article is posted to highlight the historical significance of the design.
During the Anglo-Irish Treaty talks of 1921, a Martinsyde Type A Mark II biplane was purchased and put on 24-hour standby at Croydon airport in order to allow Michael Collins to escape back to Ireland if the talks failed. The plane was not needed for this mission, and it became the first aircraft of the new Air Service arriving in June 1922. By the end of 1922, the Air Service comprised ten aircraft (including six Bristol F2B fighters from the First World War), and about 400 men.
The Air Corps
With the establishment of the Defence Forces in 1924 the Air Service became the new Army’s Air Corps and remained part of the Army until the 1990s.
In 1938 four Gloster Gladiator biplane fighters were delivered – a further eight were ordered but were embargoed by the outbreak of the Second World War.
During World War II (or The Emergency) there are no records of Air Corps planes engaging any belligerent aircraft, although dozens of escaped barrage balloons were shot down. 163 belligerent aircraft force-landed in Ireland during the war, and in this way the Air Corps acquired a Lockheed Hudson, a Fairey Battle, and three Hawker Hurricanes. The Hurricane gave the Air Corps a proven modern fighter, and – at peak – 20 flew in Irish colours. After the war, the Hurricanes were replaced by Supermarine Seafires and a few two-seat Spitfire trainers.
The de Havilland Dove became the Corps’ transport aircraft. The jet age arrived on 30 June 1956 when the Corps took delivery of a de Havilland Vampire T.55 trainer. In early 1963 the Corps took delivery of its first helicopters, SA.316B Alouette IIIs, of which seven remained in service at the start of the 21st century. During their operational lifetime, 3,300 people were assisted by the Alouette helicopters in their Search and Rescue and air ambulance roles.
During the mid-sixties and early seventies, the Corps played a part in expanding Ireland’s film industry. Pilots and engineering staff participated in a 1965 box office success, The Blue Max. The fleet of World War I replicas, owned by ex-RCAF fighter pilot Lynn Garrison’s “Blue Max Aviation”, was based at Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel – before being moved to Weston Aerodrome at Leixlip. Here the Corps continued its involvement, providing aircrew and engineering staff to support films such as Darling Lili, Von Richthofen and Brown, Zeppelin and a number of television commercials. Lynn Garrison was also responsible for coordinating the first demonstration of the Marchetti SF-260 Warrior at Baldonnel. As a result of this presentation the Corps acquired a number of Warriors.
In the mid-1970s the expansion of the “Ministerial Air Transport Service” (MATS) following Ireland’s accession to the European Economic Community (now the European Union) led to the acquisition of the Corps’ first business jet, a BAe 125-700.
In 1975 several Fouga Magister CM-170 jet aircraft were purchased secondhand from France. They were used for training, for the Light Strike Squadron and for the Silver Swallows display team. They were withdrawn from service in 1998 and not replaced, leaving the Irish Air Corps without any jet combat aircraft.
In 1977 ten SIAI-Marchetti SF.260WE Warriors were delivered for light training and ground attack roles. Four have been lost in crashes. In 1986 five SA 365Fi Dauphin II were acquired for the SAR role. Two of these were modified for operation from the Naval Service Helicopter Patrol vessel LÉ Eithne, and equipped with crashproof fuel tanks and harpoon deck arrester gear.
As part of Ireland’s obligations to the European Union, the Irish Air Corps patrols 132,000 square miles (342,000 km²) of sea. The Air Corps previously employed two of three Beechcraft 200 Super King Airs for this duty. However, the Super King Airs used for Maritime patrol were disposed of in the 1990s, and the third was allocated to transport duties. Two CASA C235-100 maritime patrol aircraft now undertake these patrols – and were upgraded in 2006/2007 by EADS CASA to the FITS Persuader standard with enhanced radar, forward looking infra red equipment and a new electronic and avionics suite.
In its MATS role, following Ireland’s assumption of the EU Presidency the Corps leased a Grumman Gulfstream III – which in 1990 became the first Irish military aircraft to circumnavigate the world. A Grumman Gulfstream IV was later acquired, as was a Learjet 45.
In 2004 eight Pilatus PC-9M trainers were delivered to the Air Corps. The Pilatus aircraft were the first Air Corps aircraft to break with an IAC tradition of using consecutive tail-numbers. The General Officer Commanding started the new Pilatus tail-numbers in the 260 series – jumping from tail-number 258 (a Learjet 45) to 260 (the first Pilatus) – skipping tail-number 259. The Pilatus is the first Air Corps aircraft to have ejection seats since the Vampire.
Two Eurocopter EC 135P2 Light Utility Helicopters were delivered to the Irish Air Corps (IAC) in November 2005. The first of four AgustaWestland AW139s were handed over to the IAC at Agusta’s facility in Milan in November 2006. Two of the AW139 remained in Milan to provide training for Irish pilots before being flown to Ireland in December 2006. These helicopters are another first for the IAC as they are delivered with the capability to carry door mounted 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns.
On 12 October 2009 an Air Corps instructor, Captain Derek Furniss, and Cadet David Jevens were killed when their Pilatus PC-9 crashed during a training exercise in Connemara, County Galway.
During the 2011 Libyan protests, the Air Corps was tasked with evacuating approximately forty Irish citizens from the troubled country. The operation involved two Air Corps aircraft (the Learjet and one CN-235), and nine personnel, using Malta as a temporary base.
Read More about the Air Corps of the Republic of Ireland on Wikipedia.
Imagine having a book that brings to life 5,000 years of our country’s incredible history.
Dorling Kindersley’s definitive visualis the nearest thing there is to being transported back in time to see the people and events that shaped how we live today.
This impressive tome traces the key and often colourful events that have defined the British Isles from the first prehistoric settlements and Viking invasions to the Elizabethan and Victorian ages through to the Iraq and Afghan wars of the 21st century.
Packed with spectacular illustrations, supporting features and a clear, concise text, you can enjoy exploring the long and fascinating story of the British Isles and study the profiles of key people in history such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Alfred the Great, Charles Dickens, Queen Elizabeth I and Winston Churchill.
Review by Pam Norfolk